Punch,  39 (1860), 112.

Mr John Thomas at a Spirit Soirée

John Tomas of Belgravy


Letter, Spoof


Spiritualism, Charlatanry

    Addressed to the well-known Punch character, Jeames, the fictional letter writer complains about the dullness of London 'out of season' and reports that in trying to find 'how the time to parse away', he and his friends have 'turned' to 'Table-Turnin'. Explains that during one spirit 'swarry' in his 'privit room', the table 'mysteerously did move', although 'it might are seemed mysteerius if adn't give a shove'. The 'Mejum' then asked the question 'His theer any speerits present', which was followed by 'a rappin' and the 'Sperrit' of the narrator's 'Great Grandma' who 'didn't no er name', refused to say where she lived, and wrongly said her son (the author) was dead. Later the spirit gave another false piece of information, which caused the table to rise, a phenomenon which the medium attributed to angry spirits, but which a boy at the séance linked to the 'shovin and pushink' of the medium. Later in the séance, the spirits agreed to 'shake ands' only if the lights were extinguished, which the author used as an opportunity to kiss his beloved Jane. Concludes by reflecting on the 'spiritmovin game' as a means of 'kissink'.

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